Lori Carrell, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, studied 581 U.S. congregations to measure how preaching affects its listeners. Her findings are featured in the 2000 book The Great American Sermon Survey. Among other things, Carrell discovered that 65 percent of listeners primarily expect spiritual inspiration and life application from sermons, while 35 percent desire information and insight.
“Farther In and Deeper Down: Evangelicals of all stripes are reviving the neglected art of expository preaching.” , Christianity Today 4/1/02
cph: So how does that determine how we preach? I recognize that it is easier for me to emphasize the information and insight aspects. That is a weakness in my preaching. I am pretty fair with always including some life application (the “so what” I call it). I am working on increasing the inspirational aspect of my preaching. On my DiSC test, my ability to inspire is incredibly low. I don’t really know what to think/do about that. Except focus on it. My Ministry Coach (Greg Salciccioli) has suggested I make “find ways to be inspirational” a task since I am highly task oriented.
What about you? How is your balance between information and inspiration?